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Bair Foundation Abandoning Foster Children by Eliminating Unionized Employees, Employees Strike

Pittsburgh, Pa. (February 12, 2020) – Today, Bair Foundation (Bair) employees joined by their union representatives with the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local Union 202R (LIUNA Local 202R) commenced an unfair labor practice (ULP) strike at Bair’s Pittsburgh office.

This is a ULP strike as LIUNA Local 202R believes the organization eliminated all of its driving operations to retaliate against the drivers’ unionization at Bair’s Pittsburgh office. Additional unfair labor practices filed by LIUNA Local 202R include promising the employees an increase in mileage reimbursement if they voted against the union, cutting their hours after voting for the union, and now refusing to bargain with the union.

LIUNA Local 202R has represented the five-person drivers’ unit at Bair’s Pittsburgh office since November 2019 when drivers voted to unionize to increase their mileage reimbursement and wages in order to afford health insurance.

This decision will leave 20 employees at five of Bair’s Pennsylvania offices and its sole Ohio office jobless and even more foster children without staff to drive them to their medical appointments or supervise their visitations effective June 30, 2020.

“I love what I do, and I really care for the children I transport,” said Sean Scott, a driver at Bair. “We needed a union though because Bair doesn’t pay us a living wage and we can’t afford our health insurance.”

Bair’s decision to cease driving operations coincided with the unionization of the drivers’ unit in Pittsburgh. At the beginning of February, Bair was supposed to go into negotiations with the unionized employees. Instead, Bair postponed negotiations and instead announced the elimination.

“Bair is trying to illegally intimidate its other units to keep them from unionizing like the Pittsburgh office,” said Ernest Ojito, LIUNA Local 202R Business Manager. “Bair is more concerned with getting rid of the union than the wellbeing of its children and employees.”

“The last thing we wanted to do was go on strike, but Bair challenged our first union election and now is terminating the entire unit after winning a second election,” said Eric Hall, another Bair driver. “We just want Bair management to meet with us to come to a fair solution.”

Established in 1967, Bair is a Christian organization with 33 offices in eight states that provides foster and adoption services.


Affiliated with the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), LIUNA Local Union 202R represents LIUNA members working throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.